Rumors suggest two new Xbox consoles on the way

Although Microsoft has confirmed that we won’t see a new Xbox this year, rumors of future consoles continue to swirl. That’s right: consoles, plural. The latest snippets of information leaked by sources supposedly in the know point to a pair of new Xbox consoles, one of which is due out next year.

The Xbox Lite will reportedly arrive in time for the 2013 holiday season. With an expected price tag of just $100, it seems likely to be a popular item. This won’t be a discounted version of the current Xbox hardware, though. VR-Zone claims the Lite will use an ARM-based chip rather than the PowerPC-based Xenon CPU in the Xbox 360. No details are provided regarding the Xbox Lite’s GPU, but I suspect it won’t be difficult to match the horsepower available in the 360’s Xenos graphics processor. At the very least, the budget Xbox should be capable of handling the casual games sold through Microsoft’s Live Arcade.

Casual gaming seems to be getting more popularโ€”Angry Birds Space was downloaded 10 million times in just 3 daysโ€”and a budget Xbox could serve that market well. It would also give Microsoft an inexpensive conduit for other content, such as music and video, and provide another platform that supports Kinect-style motion controls.

According to VR-Zone, Kinect is due for an upgrade in 2015. That’s when the site says we can also expect a truly next-generation Xbox, which is purportedly coming a full decade after the 360’s initial release.

Comments closed
    • Prion
    • 8 years ago

    $100 Netflix box.

    Let’s see what the upmarket SKU brings to the table.

    • kommisar
    • 8 years ago

    Probably a typical game console with a smart controller that can also be used as a hand held gaming device. The smart controller will use the ARM chip so as to minimize power usage. The main console will have a full strength CPU and GPU.

    • Xenolith
    • 8 years ago

    I guess MS thinks that games for Windows ARM will take off.

    • mcnabney
    • 8 years ago

    Has everyone forgotten that the fastest ARM chips have similar performance to slower Atoms?

    An ARM box would be fine for casual games, but the next Halo isn’t coming to ARM any time soon. I would also point out that there is zero compatibility between Win8 ARM and anything Windows/x86. All this device would do is allow Metro apps to be used in the living room. I anticipate a welcome similar to Apple TV.

    • Vivaldi
    • 8 years ago

    Hooray! And the hardware mediocrity lives to die another day.

    I’m not sure what saddens me more: the trickle-down stagnation this will continue to “encourage” in game development, or the fact that there continues to be a market for these barely satisfactory PC’s. Talk about squeezing blood from a rock.

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe this time they can make a console that doesn’t constantly break.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    If MS thinks people plan to play light games such as Plants vs Zombies and Fruit Ninja from here on, then I guess there’s no need to buy a new, less powerful console. The X360 can do those just fine. Of course I’m assuming those ARM cores won’t be any faster than Xenos.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      Isn’t the current xbox 360 selling for $ 179 ?

      So people would save 79$ to get a console thats not better then there phone ???

      That news seem wrong.. is it April 1st yet ?

        • ronch
        • 8 years ago

        I’m not sure I understand what you mean, but yeah, at just $100, it seems cheap. But I think MS is trying to target casual gamers here. People who play consoles (specifically Xbox and PS3) are usually hardcore gamers, not those who play Farmville on Facebook. Meaning, hardcore gamers probably won’t find this new toy terribly exciting and worth buying even for just $100. This new toy is for your grandma who is just learning to play Fruit Ninja, and is probably meant to counter the IPad craze on a different turf.

        Just my $0.02.

          • stupido
          • 8 years ago

          here are my $0.02 to your bunch… ๐Ÿ™‚
          I was also thinking gaming console to play phone games…

          • ET3D
          • 8 years ago

          I know that in many gamers’ minds the Wii doesn’t exist, but it just happens to be a console with a lot of casual gamers, and an inexpensive new console from Microsoft which can beat the Wii in performance (not a problem) and offer Kinect goodies could provide an alternate upgrade path to the Wii U and become a huge problem with Nintendo.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    I’m pretty sure there wont be new consoles till the current ones lose steam and interest starts to shift back to PC gaming (which is starting to happen). MS and Sony will milk it for all it’s worth… why wouldn’t they?

    That said, if I had to guess, I would say both Sony and MS have had consoles in development for years on the level of consumer readiness that are retroactively upgraded with new features and ideas. They’re merely waiting for the exact time to pull the trigger releasing the barrage of ‘it’s so new and amazing’ marketing, make their SDK available, and give game developers the year or two lead in to make exclusives for their specific system while allowing backwards compatibility so they can seed the market and give users something to play while the new games trickle out, hyping it all along the way.

    This is ALL highly engineered; it isn’t organic growth at all.

    Fuck Valve save use from another decade of this shit.

    • Jason181
    • 8 years ago

    When I saw this, I immediately thought “Microsoft On-Live” type service. They could make the box really cheap and still play decently graphical games, or possibly have download-only games be x-bot lite compatible, and an On-Live type service as a monthly fee addon for those that want to play more graphically intensive games. Would fit with MS’s “software as a subscription” that they’ve been pushing for awhile now.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      The next consoles will support that. That’s why they will be the last consoles.

    • travbrad
    • 8 years ago

    If it supported more video file types/codes I’d buy it just for that, but unfortunately it only seems to support mp4/wmv (not mkv/divx/etc).

    It’s really hard to find a bluray/DVD player that supports all of them for a decent price.

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    2015?

    2 – 0 – 1 – 5 ???

    sigh

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    Rumors suggest that Microsoft is in talks with Valve about their denounced SteamBox.
    Rumors suggest MS is in talks with Valve concerning a possible buyout.
    Rumors suggest Gabe Newell to head the newly formed ‘Xbox Next Team’, compromised of core Valve members.
    Rumors suggest actual name of new xbox to be “Xbox Steam”, despite fans appeal of “SteamBox”.
    Rumors suggest HL3 to be Xbox Steam’s key launch title, featuring an epic storyline on a new engine specifically built around the console (and the power of modern PC’s).
    Rumors suggest HL3 will ship with an expanded multiplayer segment, supporting Steamworks and large scale mods, allowing the player to support their favorite indie mod makers (with a cut going back to Steam of course).

    Just a wild idea. And those last two parts were me dreaming.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t think they can produce a 6 core arm chip for a 100 dollar product. Simply put the xbox may be slow by todays standards but arm is still so far from capable of hitting those levels.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      A tegra chip on a smaller process node would easily hit 6-cores and have a GPU competitive to what’s in the 360 for probably the same die area and they’ve got a year to ramp up production and bring down manufacturing costs. Not too far fetched I don’t think. The big issue is that ms probably doesn’t want to work with Nvidia. Maybe they’ll go with Samsung or Qualcomm?

        • phileasfogg
        • 8 years ago

        Well, that may be so. However, don’t forget that in terms of memory bandwidth, the Tegra3 lags far, far behind the Xbox 360 GPU. The Xbox 360 GPU is connected to 128bits of GDDR3 memory. The Tegra3 SoC, OTOH, only has a 32bit single-channel memory controller. Also, remember that the first gen Xbox 360 GPU is a 2-die package; it has an NEC eDRAM chip on the package. I know Microsoft re-targeted this chip for a smaller process node (perhaps it’s 45nm?) and maybe they now have even more embedded-DRAM than the first-gen Xbox360 GPU. That’s something Tegra3 does not have. Next, the Xbox360’s PowerPC Cell CPU and its Rambus-XDR memory-controller – how will they replace this with an equivalent Tegra-class SoC? I don’t think it’s as easy as you make it out to be. And finally, the software. Backward compatibility to all Xbox360 games is key – and if there’s a way to do that with an ARM-core SoC, well, that’s news to me.

          • d0g_p00p
          • 8 years ago

          the 360 does not use a cell cpu or rambus memory

        • sschaem
        • 8 years ago

        But those are sloooow cores. And more core without a solid cache architecture is like having many very slow cpus in isolation. next to worthless.

        Also look at the latest and greatest SoC for tablet. Cant yet match a 2005 xbox 360 in term of GPU power.

        6 slow core + a pre 2004 GPU is not what next gen gaming is about…

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]VR-Zone claims the Lite will use an ARM-based chip rather than the PowerPC-based Xenon CPU in the Xbox 360. [/quote<] Seem to recall being called crazy and treated like a heretic here when I proposed this a few months back.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      Start searching, i wanna see it. (purely out of interest of “remember when”)

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Find it. I’m interested in seeing this.

    • ianworld
    • 8 years ago

    This could be a continuation of microsoft’s attempts to unify devices, interfaces and software. If it is an arm cpu then it will be able to run metro apps. I bet they’re hoping to take over the living room with a $100 windows 8 pc. Sounds like a solid counter to the apple tv’s of the world if it works and with the xbox branding should have enough muscle and reasons to buy that it could be a big success. I’m sure apple TV’s would be flying off the shelves if they had anything remotely like the gaming library on a serious console. Even if it was just a subset of all of the games it would be a huge success.

    So my guess is that this rumor has legs and could make a big splash when it actually is announced.

      • Thatguy
      • 8 years ago

      Seems like a spot on concept. I just wish they would put some money into marketing even though, if it has the xbox badge, it will sell.

    • gamoniac
    • 8 years ago

    Boy, that is going to kill some of the single purpose (streaming) media hubs out there, or at least eat away their market share.

      • phileasfogg
      • 8 years ago

      The Roku XS 1080p just got marked down to $79.99 today ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • nico1982
    • 8 years ago

    … and what would be the point of moving to a different architecture when the current hardware is already a small, cheap and frugal SOC, especially this late in the lifecycle? Just for the fun of the added complexity?

    This is just the usual mix of confused rumors with a bit of random BS to spice the slop up ๐Ÿ˜›

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      Could be ratcheted a bit for longevity with the casual platforms mentioned. Maybe the hardware can handle current 360 games and XBL Arcade games, which aren’t terribly taxing, and with the current “casual” market, should stay that way.

      If nothing else, its interesting to see how the industry is going to flow. I’m 99% certain that discs will eventually get phased out completely (many already go without discs), but I also don’t think it will be fully adopted for another 5-10 years. And even that is dependent on how digital distribution platforms fare.

      • gamoniac
      • 8 years ago

      If the rumor is true, I don’t assume they are targeting gamers here. MS just want to extend their tentacles into peoples living room. As Geoff pointed – “it would also give Microsoft an inexpensive conduit for other content, such as music and video”.

      • tay
      • 8 years ago

      It’s going to be WP8 based and therefore on ARM. Just like the iOS based AppleTV and the Android based Google TV software.

      • Namarrgon
      • 8 years ago

      Maybe an attempt to boost their WP7 platform by creating a “bridge” product to a more successful platform?

      If this Xbox “Lite” can succeed on the coat-tails of its big brother, the developers gained in the process could perhaps easily transfer their experience (and maybe games too) directly to WP7.

      • CuttinHobo
      • 8 years ago

      I’d believe that they might want a stripped-down version for Xbox Live-delivered, tablet-level casual games, and Xbox Live movie rentals/general media streaming. But some people seem to be expecting it to perform neck-and-neck with the current console. I don’t believe for a minute that a $100 ‘Xbox Lite’ will be able to emulate its way through the standard 360 library at full speed.

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    Okay…now I believe the rumors that the next Xbox won’t have a disc drive. I bet it will be a rough equivalent of a 360 in power, leaving plenty of room for the next-generation Xbox to actually get headway on the current generation.

      • gmskking
      • 8 years ago

      I hope neither XBox has a disc drive. But the full version almost certainly will have a blu-ray drive u would think to store all that data cheaply. Would love to see cartridge games again. No more loading screens! (at least very minimal:)

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        What?

          • gmskking
          • 8 years ago

          Open up ur f uckin ears jackas s!

            • VILLAIN_xx
            • 8 years ago

            What?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            seriously, why are you still allowed around here?

            • Palek
            • 8 years ago

            Yeah, if that’s not banhammer-worthy then I don’t know what is.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            This deserves a thumb up…

            …ur azz

        • superjawes
        • 8 years ago

        Whenever they said “next generation” won’t have a disc drive, I called BS because it’s far too easy to distribute games that way, and the market is huge (see Gamestop).

        But a lite version? That makes sense. Niche product, media center, great idea.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      It will have a disk drive. Retail sales are too important to snub.

      It might comes as a surprise, but there are still gamers in this world without (any) internet access.

      And as long as those gamers still have legal tender, we will have mainstream gaming consoles with disk drives.

        • Geistbar
        • 8 years ago

        Even ignoring the specific retail sales, they also need to have a good relationship with big box retailers to help sell their consoles in the first place. If Sony still has disc games (more money for Best Buy et. all) and Microsoft doesn’t, then Sony is going to get better floor and advertising and sale placements, because selling it will make them more money.

        Retail is a cruel master that they can’t afford to piss off yet, even if many industries are trying to slowly wean themselves off of it.

        • superjawes
        • 8 years ago

        [quote=”superjawes”<]Whenever they said "next generation" won't have a disc drive, I called BS because it's far too easy to distribute games that way, and the market is huge (see Gamestop). But a lite version? That makes sense. Niche product, media center, great idea.[/quote<] Already acknowledged. The Slim model should price drop between now and then, so there's your 360 with a disc drive, but that being said, I think there is a market for consoles without drives relying on digital distribution (at least a market to test). That's why I say that the "next generation" box [b<]will[/b<] have a drive, and rumors that it won't are nonsense. This Lite box, however, isn't a new generation system by the sounds of it. It sounds like a side-by-side release for the 360, at most having the power to play XBLA games for the next console generation.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This